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Thrifting: A Clean Thrift Shopper is a Happy Thrift Shopper

Updated on September 2, 2015

Let’s just put it out there, the real reason people avoid some thrift stores:

Digging around a dirty store for stuff donated by other people

And that reason is understandable, outside of your major chain thrift stores like Goodwill – store presentation and cleanliness isn’t high on the priority list for some smaller thrift stores (or outlets). But as we die hard thrifters know if there’s a will then there’s a way. Here are a few things I bring along to try to keep sanitation in check while thrifting.

GLOVES: I wear gloves when I need to dig through heaps of clothes and items in totes to avoid touching ‘mystery spills’ and hidden creepy crawlers. My fingernails chip easy so gloves definitely help out with protecting a fresh manicure. Also, as a rule of thumb - if the thrift store employees wear gloves then so should you.

HAND SANITIZER: I use hand sanitizer for times I don’t need to thrift with gloves, which is usually at Goodwills and other such stores. I use hand sanitizer before and after I thrift shop. I have no real reason why I use hand sanitizer before I thrift shop ­- I just like that cool fresh feeling on my hands. I use hand sanitizer after shopping because I don’t know who donated items, how these items have been handled once donated, and what other shoppers may have handled the items.

SOCKS: This, of course, is used when shoe shopping. When trying on clothes at a thrift store, I’ve come across items with their store tags or dry cleaning tags still attached. So there’s a chance, slim chance, that some donated clothing is pretty high on the clean scale. But I’m about 99.99% sure that no one has cleaned the interior of their shoes before donating them. Maybe they knocked off some loose dirt but a good cleaning to the foot bed – 99.99% sure that didn’t happen.

* Honorable or dishonorable mention (however you choose to view it) *

FACE MASK: I’ve never worn one myself, but I’ve seen a few shoppers wear a face mask when thrift shopping (particularly at the outlets). I can understand the concern of dust getting in lungs and individuals with respiratory problems. I also understand that a large number of thrift store shoppers aren’t patrons of basic hygiene, so the concern of catching a cold from the uncovered cough or sneeze is valid. If you think about it . . . . You are in an enclosed space with the possibility of airborne germs swimming around . . . Let’s just end this topic before I get myself paranoid lol Happy and safe thrifting everyone!


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

      I would be slightly embarrassed to wear gloves while shopping at at thrift store, but then make a GREAT point!